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Locus Nairobi Workshop – Integration and Local Ownership: Pathways to Sustainable Development


Locus’s Nairobi Workshop, “Integration and Local Ownership: Pathways to Sustainable Development,” took place on April 27, 2018. Organized and hosted by Africa Capacity Alliance in partnership with AKDN East Africa and the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications, participants enjoyed several presentations, work group sessions, and large group discussions that led us to establish a Task Force of 8 Nairobi-based organizations dedicated…

May 23, 2018


Reflections from Rwanda: Resetting approaches to social change


In January, three Locus scholarship awardees participated in a professional development certificate course co-hosted by The Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Partners in Health in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda. We asked them to share their reflections on the Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation Course here.

April 8, 2018


Reflections from Rwanda: Accountability for high quality health services in the right places


In January, three Locus scholarship awardees participated in a professional development certificate course co-hosted by The Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Partners in Health in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda. We asked them to share their reflections on the Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation Course here.

March 23, 2018


Locus recommends 7 questions to guide decisions on integration


On February 21st, 2018, the Locus Learning Work Group set out to answer a priority question on the Research Agenda for Integrated Development: What key criteria should determine when integration is the most appropriate approach in different contexts and scenarios? Members convened for a workshop led by Learning Work Group Co-Chairs  Matt Lineal of Nuru International and Sia Nowrojee of the 3D Program for Girls…

March 19, 2018


Holding a Space for the Hard Conversations: Reflections on UN CSocD56 Panel


Last month, The Hunger Project, The Movement for Community-Led Development and Locus co-hosted a panel titled “Ending Extreme Poverty is Local: community-led, integrated approaches to sustainable development” at the 56th UN Commission on Social Development in New York. Our panelists, Maurice Bloem, Executive Vice President of Church World Service, Ann Hendrix-Jenkins, Global Director of Capacity Development at Pact, and Mary Kate Costello, Senior Policy Analyst…

March 5, 2018


Integrated approaches are key to ensuring the poorest in least developed countries aren’t left behind


A recent analysis presented by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to its member States on February 5, 2018 revealed that the world’s poorest countries (Least Developed Countries, LDCs) are not on track to achieve goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN News Centre). The imperative behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is equity, ensuring that no one is…

February 26, 2018


ICCE TIG WEEK: Using M&E data to evaluate the impacts of an integrated and holistic international development model


By: Ashweeta Patnaik, Ray Marshall Center  ICCE TIG WEEK: Using M&E data to evaluate the impacts of an integrated and holistic international development model by Ashweeta Patnaik Hello, I’m Ashweeta Patnaik and I work at the Ray Marshall Center (RMC) at The University of Texas in Austin. RMC has partnered with Nuru International (Nuru) to use Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) data to evaluate the impacts…

February 20, 2018


Are we learning enough about integrated programs through impact evaluations?


By: Tessa Ahner- McHaffie, FHI360 Are we learning enough about integrated programs through impact evaluations? Integrated development raises a lot of questions. Tessa Ahner-McHaffie and colleagues from FHI 360 tried to answer some of these in a Systematic Review published on Gates Open Research and currently being peer reviewed. In this guest blog, she describes the work that her and colleagues have done in exploring…


Creating New Tools for the Job


By: Lydia Cardona, Conservation International Headlines about scarce natural resources driving or causing conflicts are not hard to find. Threats of war over the control and use of natural resources – such as oil, timber and water- become more imminent as rapid, unsustainable development and climate change increase the pressure on renewable and non-renewable resources. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, more than 40%…

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Creating an Integrated Nutrition Game-Plan: Technical Brief and Recommendations from Lao PDR


By: Deirdre McMahon, Global Nutrition Advisor, SNV  Malnutrition isn’t the result of a simple cause-and-effect algorithm. It can’t be boiled down into an if-then statement. It’s the result of a complex web of underlying factors and interrelated causes. And in response to that complexity, reducing malnutrition requires convergent action from many different sectors and stakeholders.  Based on the need for integrated action to improve nutrition,…

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One Thing at a Time Doesn’t Work for Women


By: Sia Nowrojee, Program Director, 3D Program for Girls and Women “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”                     -Audre Lorde, activist and poet Early in my career, I worked in a women’s health clinic as a counselor, supporting clients as they made and acted on their reproductive…

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Accelerating evidence-based south-south collaboration to reach the extreme poor


By: Emily Coppel and Isabel Whisson, BRAC Careful adaptation of proven programs in new contexts is key to achieving SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere In January of 2017, five officials from the Government of Kenya, The Boma Project, and CARE International traveled to Bangladesh. Their aim? To understand how BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs, headquartered in Dhaka, ‘graduated’ 1.7…

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When the Evaluation Plan Doesn’t Reflect the Context


By: Aga Khan Foundation When a partnership offers an opportunity to improve an important value chain Aga Khan Foundation in Mozambique started the MozaCaju project with USDA funding in late 2013/early 2014, as a subcontractor to TechnoServe. The 3-year project aimed to improve the value chain for cashew production and marketing in Mozambique, providing training and support for cashew producers in growing techniques, harvest and…

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Show me the evidence: Cultivating knowledge on governance and food security


By: Tessa Ahner-McHaffie, FHI 360 Show me the evidence: Cultivating knowledge on governance and food security I recently participated in a salon on integrating governance and food security work to enhance development outcomes. Convened by the LOCUS coalition and FHI 360, the salon gathered experts in evaluation, governance and food security to review challenges and best practices for generating evidence and knowledge. A post-salon discussion recorded with Annette Brown and Joseph Sany…

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Program Review: A Chance to Learn & Adapt


When establishing a new project, it is customary to set the overarching goal and objectives for the project and then work backwards developing timelines, milestones, and indicators to track progress towards this goal. At Nuru International, an NGO with an integrated programming model working with farmers and their families in Kenya and Ethiopia, we have a different approach. While our project’s goal remains constant, the method used to achieve that goal is flexible within the timeline of the project. A systematic project design process allows us to create program models that are based on community needs, combining local and expatriate staff input.The Program Review process was a great success that enabled Nuru Ethiopia leaders to make data-driven decisions to improve their programs and see themselves as agents of change.

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February 7, 2018


Whose “Empowerment”?


In this Guest Post, blogger Meghna Ravishankar explores ideas on Western feminism, empowerment, and the development enterprise in a publication featured in The Riveter Magazine. Ravishankar interviews Locus members Donella Rapier, CEO of BRAC USA, and Ellie Price, Locus Coalition Coordinator,  among other voices. Challenges to measuring empowerment, supporting women’s resource ownership, and counter-productive performance pressures development partners face under current donor paradigms are discussed. Resonant…

October 12, 2017


Locus Coalition Appoints New Coordinator


In August 2017, the Locus Coalition named Ellie Price its new Coordinator, succeeding Gregory Adams in the role of leading the coalition. Ms. Price comes from FHI 360 where she was a Program Officer on the Crisis Response and Integrated Development team. While at FHI 360, Price led the Locus Coalition’s research  to quantify the impact of legislative directives in the U.S. foreign assistance budget on…

September 15, 2017


Strengthening the global health workforce


Most will agree that health workers play an important role in health systems, eradicating diseases, empowering communities, and strengthening local economies. Yet few donor-funded projects focus exclusively on the health workforce.

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April 5, 2017


The role of Community Health Workers in the heart of crisis


The average length of conflict-induced displacement is 17 years, which means communities in displaced situations require support that are not just effective in the short-term but will pave a path towards resiliency for the long-term. Entering the humanitarian space, as FHI 360 does, with a robust development background can offer new insights for how to approach humanitarian problems. We are combining methods which hold the possibility of bringing sustainable solutions to traditional humanitarian delivery models that usually tackle problems with emergency in mind.

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April 4, 2017


Putting Vision into Focus: Lessons on scaling up a social enterprise


Approximately 12.7 million people in Bangladesh suffer from near vision loss, a consequence of the eye’s natural aging process. Without correction, it can significantly impact a person’s productivity, with serious financial, health and social implications. Uncorrected, vision costs the global economy an estimated $227 billion in lost income-earning potential. However, there is a seemingly simple fix.

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Investing in the next generation of health workers


In Krio, I was called “belly woman.” Rural Sierra Leonean communities had not seen many foreign pregnant “belly women.” Sierra Leone had been recovering from years of conflict that had broken its health system and forced health workers to flee. The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic only served to demonstrate how this weak health system and inadequate health workforce had prevented an effective response to the epidemic, and left communities without any other basic health services.

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April 3, 2017


Let’s Stop Playing Catch Up: How Stronger Integration Helps Us Get Ahead of Threats


Achieving the SDG objective of universal coverage of WASH by 2030 will contribute to other important development goals, food security and public health in particular, and help prevent a number of threats. To accomplish these inter-related goals, we need to ensure that the key local stakeholders, in the WASH sector and far beyond, are all in this together. More localized, grown-up conversations amongst various ‘competing’ sectors can help us make greater strides toward 100% coverage of WASH, and make vital progress toward public health and food security.

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March 21, 2017


Our “biggest frustrations” in building gender sensitive programs


Yesterday was International Women’s Day—a moment for intense reflection for development workers. Thinking hard about gender forces us to think hard about good development: when we force ourselves to confront the many related needs, wants and perspectives of women and girls, we also force ourselves to confront where our standard development toolkit often comes up short in serving those same needs, wants and perspectives.

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March 8, 2017


Want to help women take more control? Help them tackle multiple problems at once


As my colleague John Coonrod noted, women face an array of challenges which can’t be solved in isolation. If you help a mom send her daughter to school on an empty stomach, how much will she really learn? If you help a woman take her children to a doctor, but they are drinking polluted water, how much will their health improve? In fact, interventions that…

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March 7, 2017


Same recipe, different geography: Holistic approaches are smart for girls and women everywhere


Here’s a development scenario you’re probably familiar with: Imagine a young girl growing up in a remote rural area, raised in a poor family. Girls here are not typically encouraged in the same way as boys are to imagine themselves having exciting future careers, nor even the more vanilla option of working at the sole local factory. Virtually all the local authority figures are men.…

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Silos are Sexist


As Locus members, we are committed to integrated programming, but why? And why does it seem to be such an uphill struggle in a world where the prevailing development paradigm is dominated by top-down, narrowly focused, short-term interventions? The most important reason to pursue integrated programming is that it works for women. Women living in poverty suffer from time poverty. Want to invest in women’s…

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Building a Different World of Work for Women and Girls


Women and girls provide much of the labor and talent that makes our communities work. But they routinely don’t get the pay, opportunities or esteem that men do. International Women’s Day forces us to pay special attention to the variety of challenges that women and girls face, particularly in the world of work. As we celebrate the unique and various contributions of women and girls…

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‘SMART DIVERSIFICATION’ TOOL BOOSTS INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT


The years leading up to the 2015 benchmark for global goals saw enthusiastic calls for doing development differently, reaching a crescendo as the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted to guide our work through 2030.

February 7, 2017


LOCUS COALITION APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR


The Locus coalition has named Gregory Adams as its new director. Adams joins the coalition from Oxfam America where he most recently served as director of the organization’s aid effectiveness team and global aid policy lead.

February 2, 2017


SHEDDING LIGHT: WEBINAR ON EVALUATING INTEGRATED APPROACHES


Integrated development, which intentionally combines multisectoral approaches to address complex development challenges, is gaining in reputation and popularity. As more programs around the globe use integrated approaches, researchers, development practitioners and other aid professionals need guidance on how to measure the impact of these approaches. FHI 360’s integrated development team, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the FHI Foundation, has been…

January 6, 2017


A NEW RESEARCH AGENDA AND EXAMPLES FROM THE FIELD


With the Sustainable Development Goals nearing their one-year anniversary, the global community continues to strive toward eradicating poverty by 2030. In order to achieve this ambitious target, many international development practitioners are embracing a more holistic approach to development, combining traditionally single-sector programming, like health or environment work, into more comprehensive efforts. But such integrated development is sometimes easier said than done. Locus, a coalition…

September 27, 2016


EXPERTS DISCUSS OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR INTEGRATION


Although it comes with challenges, integration is essential to international development and holds vast potential for achieving more sustainable results, a panel of experts agreed during a wide-ranging discussion on integrated programming.

September 1, 2016


ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: BUILDING GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY


The old saying that “All politics is local” is especially true when it comes to overcoming poverty and hunger. Issues of good nutrition, primary education, primary health care, water and sanitation, skills training, preserving the environment and ensuring public safety are all local issues. Nations can allocate budgets and launch national programs, but actually getting basic public services to work requires good local government.

February 2, 2016


THINK ENDING WORLD HUNGER IS UNACHIEVABLE? THINK AGAIN.


Hunger is not inevitable. It is not too big of a problem to solve. In fact, it has improved dramatically in just the last 30 years. Indeed, according to international agencies like the World Bank and United Nations, ending extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2030 are an ambitious, yet achievable goal, in need of transformational policies that address inequality and boost shared prosperity.…

February 1, 2016


NO INTERNET CONNECTION? NO PROBLEM: COLLECTING RURAL DATA


Throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America, Hunger Project programs operate in rural and sometimes remote communities. Since we began monitoring programs using cutting-edge mobile technology, areas without internet connection have posed a challenge for our committed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team. To meet these challenges, The Hunger Project has implemented the ThunderPlug®. ThunderPlug® is a compact device that runs the server of iFormBuilder (the…


A ROAD MAP TO TRANSFORMING LIVES


From Kendari to Mosul and Abuja to San Francisco, people across the world will celebrate Dec. 31, the close of another year and the promise of a brighter year to come. But this New Year’s Eve will be more than a time for personal reflection and writing resolutions. It also marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals and the start of a new chapter…

January 29, 2016


DEVELOPMENT MUST BE INTENTIONAL & SUSTAINABLE


It is up to development organizations to steer the sector and its funders toward an integrated approach, and the effort must be backed by evidence, panelists agreed during a first-of-its-kind international development discussion organized by a new coalition known as Locus: The Point of International Development. The June 23 event, held in Washington, D.C., included speakers from Pact, FHI 360 and Aga Khan Foundation. All…


THE AGE OF INTEGRATION


The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September provide an expansive vision of what we can accomplish over the next 15 years. Unlike the previous global development agenda, they include goals for all countries, not just poor ones, and more consideration for protecting our planet. The language also emphasizes that the new goals are integrated and indivisible, something the authors explain as…

December 7, 2015


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